Continuing our ‘Meet our Franchisees’ interview series is the brilliant Mark and Sas Houghton. A dynamic, cocktail making duo who manage the South West region.
Before moving to Cornwall, the married couple ran their local pub for six years, The Bull at Bentley in Surrey. Mark and Sas decided to move to Devon for a lifestyle change and have not looked back and enjoy every moment living on the coast.
Mark comments “We had some great times and made many fond memories and friendships at The Bull. In fact, it was at The Bull that we first came across Beetle Juice as Harry played on our pub football team! After six fun but hard years we needed a change of pace and lifestyle, we were lucky to get the chance to move to Polzeath managing a friend’s campsite. We upped sticks in 2016 and haven’t looked back, in late 2017 we moved to the Looe area of Cornwall and took on the Southwest Franchise for Beetle Juice.
Our first season has gone as well as we could have hoped for having completed approximately 30 events and bookings, 2019 is also shaping up well. Moving to Cornwall and running ‘Ellie’(our bar) has been a great life change and we can’t wait for the fun that lies ahead.
60 seconds with Mark and Sas Houghton, our Cornwall and Devon franchisees for Beetle Juice
What is your favourite cocktail?
Mark- Being passionate about Rum, any cocktails with rum in them is a firm favourite for me.
Sas- I love a good old-fashioned Margarita.
When you are not shaking or making cocktails, how do you like to spend your time?
Mark- Walking our dog ‘Jerry’ (named after Sailor Jerry Rum!), going to see the Exeter Chiefs and Cornish Pirates play rugby and enjoying a pint or two of Tribute!
Sas - When not working for Beetle Juice I chef in a local pub, The Earl of Chatham in Lostwithiel and when I am not working at all I join Mark in the dog walking. The countryside and beaches in Cornwall is beautiful so we are never short of nice walks to go on.
Which event in 2018 has been the highlight for you so far?
It’s hard to have a favourite as we have loved the whole of our first year. However, we have been lucky to do a variety of great events including weddings, private parties, food festivals, music events and weekenders such as VW Jamboree.
Which cocktails do you think will be big in 2019?
The Southwest Is booming with Artisan and independent gin, rum and vodka distillers so we will be showcasing some of these in our cocktail menus during 2019 perhaps with the emphasis on rum! ( as it’s my favourite and I’m the boss!)
What is your favourite bar and place to hang out in Cornwall?
The Rum Bar in Polzeath is awesome for budding pirates and rum lovers. It’s open through the summer season and located on the beach behind Surfside restaurant.
What is your favourite beach?
Our favourite beach we can’t tell you about as it’s our secret quiet beach!! However, we love going to Lantic Bay which has a brilliant headland walk and then a stunning beach accessed down a narrow cliff path not to be done after a cocktail or two!
This Christmas Mark, Sas had their bar Ellie at the Plymouth Christmas Market, until the 16th December selling cocktails mocktails and mulled cider! After that they were at the Montol Festival in Penzance 21st December. check out their website! https://www.visitcornwall.com/whats-on/seasonal/west-cornwall/penzance/montol-festival
Beetle Juice is constantly changing their cocktail service at festivals and events, becoming the UK's premium cocktail option at some of the biggest festivals in the country. Our cocktails are hand-made to order and always with a 50ml measure. Yes, they take longer to make but they’re garnished well and we’re passionate about fresh ingredients and our premium spirits. We’re confident you can taste the difference!